BLOOD ON THE HARDWOOD CONCRETE CH.1 - GO BACK FOR SOME LASAGNA
By Yasamine Alisha
Just as you are about to take off, Sweetwater pops his meathook onto your shoulder. “Best to pass the buck to the other Joes for now, ya jive?”
“Sure. No point in getting all roughed up before dinner.” You walk back into the restaurant, step behind the front desk and pick up the phone in front of the pretty young olive skinned girl sitting at the desk. You flick the receiver clip a couple times and tell Bernice the operator to connect you to the precinct.
“Got another one.” Pause. “Sure.” Pause. “Dead as a doornail.” Pause. “Okay, okay, spare me the gobbledygook.” You hang up the phone, pinch the girl's cheek, and wink before heading back to the table.
You sit at the table with the ‘Trotters and enjoy a nice bottle of wine. Other than the murdered dame out in front, the restaurant isn’t really that bad. You figure whether or not it’s true what they say about the I-talians cooking rat in the meatballs, the joint still made the best lasagna you've ever had.
"Ah! Longa time noa see!" The owner walks up with another bottle of wine.
"What's the good word, Rocco?” You ask, knowing the owner always has something up his sleeve.
“Molto Bello! You looka good! You losea weight? Ah! You needa my mama's lasagna!” Rocco pats you on the shoulder and walks away, only to return to your table with a large platter of steaming lasagna. “Even the deada bird will not stop the lasagna!” He shakes his head as he serves you and the ‘Trotters each a heaping chunk of meaty, cheesy layered pasta.
You stuff your face. The Sweetwater is arguing with Twiggy about the importance of parmesan cheese. Everyone else is silent in their feasting as you listen to the beat cops cordoning off the crime scene.
“Got anything new on the menu?" You ask.
"I bringa new dessert!" The rotund owner says as he walks back into the kitchen, his thick accent hanging in the air.
“He stinks of garlic, but damn can the man cook." you mutter as you start to imagine the owner's mother's special cannolis.
Rocco walks out with a tray laden with plates of what looks like custard. "Marcello is back from that French school for the summer. Is called crème-a brooley." he sets the plates down and pulls out the blow torch.
"Whoa, what are you, a blockhead? That's for buildings, not pudding. Geez." You instantly back up from the torch.
"No, paisano! Trusta in Rocco!" He lights the torch, lowers the flame, and brushes it gently over the top of the custard. It caramelizes as the sweet smell makes your mouth water.
“I'll be damned. Ain't that about a bitch. It’s crispy!” Twiggy says as he drops his ball and shovels a spoonful into his mouth.
"Well I’ll be a monkey's uncle," you mutter as Rocco wanders around the table blasting everyone's pudding, yours being last.
"Prego!" He says, waving the torch dangerously close to your head.
"Watch it, bub."
"No, no, I havea the perfect control!" He spins the lit wand. It slips from his fingers and brushes past your head as it hits the table. The flame blasts to life and lights your hair on fire. The pomade is like butane in your hair and on your forehead as you suddenly burst into flames! You scream for help, but your aftershave ignites the fire further down your neck and over your entire body.
You stand and run from the table through the front door and trip falling onto the corpse, incinerating the evidence. You live just long enough for Rocco and Sweet Lou to douse your fire with a boiling pot of spaghetti. You die in agony, burnt to a crisp as the ‘Trotters, standing around you, eat cannolis dipped in the creme brulée.
"Well damn, there goes our free throw backup,” Meadowlark mutters are he licks his spoon.